Grim Golems of gray stone and white marble raised high in front of the little, hunched and occasionally snickering mutated rat.
Covered in the heavy coat of a former Zaun police captain he stood impatiently before the massive and heavy door, the last station on his journey to become a league champion. He was about to reach his life's goal, his destiny.
Twitch felt the coolness of the floor slowly crawling up the thin skin on his clawed feet, however he could dismiss this uncomfortable sensation with little effort as it got lost between the multitude of thoughts, impressions and instincts that filled his cluttered, divided and insane mind.
Unresting he randomly spun around his head left to right and right to left as he examined the great hall, part out of curiosity part of his still intact animal instincts.
Nevertheless even he knew that they all had a common goal and after having come this far by his own strength and will there was only one more challenge left to overcome.
"The truest enemy lies within...heheee"
Twitch muttered in his lisping voice as he read from the looming stone plate above the door.
For a fleeting moment the more sane parts of his mind started to actually contemplate this statement but as soon as this short moment had passed by, the random voices surged back into his brain, most of them urging him in unison to advance and step through this mighty portal.
The bright and precious stolen rings that he carried fingers pressed together as Twitch clasped his hand more tightly around the heavy poison stained crossbow as he readied himself to face whatever there was lying in wait behind this grand door.
The constant vibrant buzzing of the flies that had been attracted to his stench followed him as he slowly waddled forward.
He brought out his other hand and placed it firmly against the finely crafted material.
He sniffed the air around him one last time and except for his own obnoxious odor there was nothing in this wide and empty room that was even quaintly giving him a sense of impending danger.
His pointy ears were also unable to catch any sound except for that of his own heartbeat, breath and the flies.
Bathing in this relative silence for a while longer Twitch somehow seemed to remember the constant disgusting gurgling, blubbering and flowing of the endless streams of chemicals, green and gray goo and things even he could find the weirdest names for, that had kept him acquainted throughout the days of his youth.
Lost in this random, almost romantic, nostalgia he led more strength into his arm and gently pushed open the high portal, just wide enough for his compact body to fit through.
Twitch's senses and especially his mind were greeted by the endless and sad darkness behind it. It engulfed his body and his soul and for a very rare moment all of the voices inside of him silenced.
"Hmmhmmm danceee my fellow minions heeheee, dance for mee! Your Loord!!"
Twitch heard himself say from somewhere far away and far ago as the darkness suddenly began to recede and reveal the wide and sickly glowing sewers of Zaun’s underground.
A place that made even the most cruel professors refuse to send unfortunate lab assistants to.
The plague rat immediately remembered , in his rare state of complete focus, the place and scene he was quietly observing from within himself now.
He was sitting on a slightly elevated stone platform between two mindbogglingly vast rivers of green acidic goo, playing with a small pack of ordinary sewer rats which he had dressed up in little costumes of mages and warriors.
He took two of the rats, one dressed in a wide red robe and the other in a blue approximation of a toga, into each of his hands and swung them around wildly only stopping for when there was a speaking part occurring.
"Oh nooo, me lord Twtich! The evil Knight Cedric of Ionia wants to see my undergarment.
What a pervert!!"
Twitch impersonated, albeit badly, the high pitched and spoiled voice of a rich and famous princess of Demacia before replying in an equally bad low tone
"Ho hoo no you belong to me princess and you know it! Just let me look at your sweet sweet garments and we'll bond our marriage for an eternity!"
But as Cedric of Ionia almost managed to catch the fleeting princess as they were both still racing through the air the plague rat abruptly stopped in his motion.
"AHhhh this is SO boring!" he cried out frustratingly.
Nonchalantly he simply tossed the costumed rat couple behind his back, which landed right into the soft , bubbling ,glowing goo that surrounded them.
Twitch couldn’t care less for these rats even though he considered them to be his brethren.
Just like the abundant torrents of poisonous liquids being excreted by the vast labyrinth of tubes and waste pipes, these rodents where flooding the dense canalisation system in very high quantities.
As the two unfortunate rats met their demise in form of torrents of acidic solvent , nothing but an ugly splashing sound from their impact on the disgusting liquid remained.
Ceaselessly working, thinking and turning, Twitch’s manically insane mind had already begun to spin up new and ever more intriguing ideas to what sick and entertaining plays he could force his helpless and awfully limited brothers and sisters into next.
Although the rats still seemed to be under the fortunate unknowing to what just happened to two of their furry companions, they continued to scramble around the platform in blank fear from their horrifying and nature defying captor.
However, to their hopeless misfortune the gigantic Rat-Goliath before them was also tightly blocking the last exit to their salvation.
“Ahhh yesss, hmmhmm heeee, I just found a new game for us to play!”
Twitch maliciously grinned from one of his razor sharp teeth to the other.
He was more than ready to lower his grotesquely mutant body over his prisoners and grab the next bunch of these sewer rodents into his poison dripping hands.
A brutal fight to the death was the next game they had to participate in for just the sick amusement of their insane lord.
However, through either a sort of divine prevention or a coincidence of an almost impossible probability, out of complete nowhere Twitch’s ears could catch faint voices echoing through the wide halls of this particular part of the enormous underground sewer system.
Even if they almost got drowned by the flowing rivers of toxin techmaturgic waste products they seemed to actually get closer.
First they were just a mere itch in his pointy ears, more like a strange sense of foreboding, but as he started to listen more carefully and forget that the costumed rats beneath him finally found an exit between his legs and finally found their salvation in the small cracks and holes in the stone wall behind him, Twitch could finally proses the unexpected information and determine that there really and truly were humanoid voices closing in towards him.
Observing the over world and all of it’s weird non-rat bipedal inhabitants was a big portion of the plague rat’s life already but except for the occasional murder or theft there wasn’t anything that would make Twitch stay up there longer.
But still the voices came closing in, bouncing of the large,dirty halls and gangways and into his ears. After a short while he could distinguish between at least 3 of them, the most prominent being a male one that seemed to speak with an undertone that hinted a great sense of knowledge while the other ones rather appeared to be of the contrary.
Of course Twitch knew almost the entire blue print of all tunnels, maintenance shafts and air conducts of the general underground area he was occupying now.
So even though the louder growing voices and the rattling sounds of heavy equipment being carried seemed to echo from every wall, ceiling and great columns inside this vast chamber, it was still rather easy for Twitch’s more sane parts to calculate the only possible route these first visitors to his rat-kingdom could take, which was directly behind him.
His animal side commanded him to make haste and hide but actually this duality between instinct and rationality inside of him allowed him to take this fear and turn it against his enemies. This very ability was the main reason why he had become so deadly.
Without any hesitation he swung around quickly, pulling his poisonous crossbow from his back and aimed it towards the dark hallway behind them all in the same,swift motion.
The vicious determination to kill every intruder into his sacred realm burned in his glowing eyes with deadly fervor.
Steadily he pulled back the lever and cocked in the first volley of three arrows, deadly, acidic, green self-brewed poison dripping from each sharp tip.
The large clip under the crossbow ensured a long sustained barrage which compensated for his lacking skills as a marksman.
The voices sounded more clear now as Twitch’s own body started to tremble in sheer excitement as he knew his victims were only mere seconds away from their impending demises. Vicious chuckles and snickers started to come out of him more frequently and just like a giant living spring, he almost was ready to let loose and explode in a fury of anger, violence and fear.
“....Are you sure, Professor? This doesnt seem like the right way...”
“...Dismiss your foolish concern, young one. When you did ever felt the need to doubt MY sense of orientation? Of course this is the right way!”
Twitch heard the voices talk and come ever so close towards him.
And there only was one answer he was willing to give them, as he pulled down the trigger on his crossbow sending a volley of howling arrows right into the hallway.
He quickly cocked his weapon a second time, loading the next volley into the firing mechanism and rapidly shot them towards his targets for a second salvo.
Manically and with an unbelievable fervor he kept firing and firing until his ammunition of arrows was depleted.
Terrifying screams of pain and agony filled the hallways which joined Twitch's own insane laughter in a bizarre and morbid vocal orchestra.
The impact of the arrows on the stone walls around him created a lot of dust and the plague rat couldn’t wait to see how many he had killed in his malicious ambush.
Twitch watched and occasionally snickered his insane laughter in anticipation.
Finally the smoke slowly started to recede and reveal several dead bodies piled on top of another, pierced by the sharp bolts of his arrow.
Poisonous liquids trickled from their orifices and wounds and Twitch’s starring eyes widened even further in his still growing malicious joy.
“Now to see what treasures you have left for me...poor fools hehheee” ,he said with a happy tone.
Relieved and glad that finally something really amusing had happened today, he strapped his crossbow on his back again and walked towards the group of people he just murdered when he suddenly heard something that made him stop in his tracks immediately.
“Ufff....ah now look what you have done! I hope you are aware that its not easy for my institute’s budget to carry another expedition party of this size!”
It was that elderly person’s voice again.
Shock and fear almost petrified his whole body and his instincts to flee and hide instantly jumped back into his mind.
He was completely uncovered and out of ammunition.
What if they had weapons?
Or even shackles?
No one ever managed it to make their way that deep into the winding sewer system.
No one ever even dared to.
“....is...is it over, Professor?” said another voice.
“I would assume so. At least we’ve finally found our elusive specimen.” The professor replied with great confidense.
A second survivor? Twitch was out of options. Just like the rats he had played with earlier only that he now was the one being hopelessly trapped.
His escape routes were either too far apart from the platform he stood on or completely blocked by the increasing torrents of deadly goo around him.
Twitch tried to scuffle away as quickly as his short feet would allow him.
He waddled towards one of the great pillars carrying the mighty city above him and hid in the wide shadow of its backside.
However even though he found himself in a relative safe spot, his heart and his breathing still wouldn’t stop to race.
As if there was a constant dark stare looking down on him from behind but no matter how often and frantically he kept spinning around his head there was nothing to see ,but the raging toxin fluids around him.
Peaking carefully out from his cover he could only see a wall consisting of the corpses of several men and the heavy bags they had carried, plugging the entrance to this underground hall.
He carefully watched as the dead bodies before him seemed to slightly move back and forth as someone apparently pulled and shoved them from behind.
In his desperation, the plague rat finally decided to reload his crossbow and prepare to get rid of whoever survived his first barrage once and for all.
But even after he now could gain back his determination ,his shaking hands and frightful heart made it outermost difficult for him.
All the while, behind him, there were two little yellow hands making their way up from the protective shield of dead meat and trying to find some grip on the clothes of the uppermost corpse.
“A little ...help here would.... be very welcoming.” said the older man panting , this time clearly annoyed.
“I’m here Professor! Just put your legs on my shoulders and...”
Twitch hurried to fill new poison bolts into his trusty weapon while his animal instincts and own paranoia forced him to manically look towards that ****ed entrance that seemed to emit this paralysing aura.
There he could finally witness how the tiny hands could finally get some grip and elevated the rest of the its body over the obstacle of their fallen comrades. He safely landed on the ground and without saying any other word he immediately started to scan this new area he found himself in.
First bolt loaded.
The body belonged to an incredibly tiny man just about Twitch's size, dressed in a almost perfectly clean safari garb, except for the few stains of green goo.
Under the exaggeratedly large orb-like hat it was hard to determine, if his deep wrinkles or the incredibly long gray hair of his full beard wascovering more of the little person’s face.
Second bolt loaded.
But as Twtich could catch a better glimpse on the quirky outward appearance of the one he assumed to be the “Professor”, he immediatly found the most striking feature of it to be his razor sharp, ice cold glowing blue eyes.
His freezing gaze still wandered around the far away walls,mighty pillars and sickly waste rivers.
But no matter how well Twitch managed to blend into the deep shadow of his hideout the Professor’s sharp look was quickly locked on the high column that served as his Twitch’s sole protection.
The Rat felt utterly terrified.
Not from the little man’s unimposing stature or whatever secret weapon he might hide inside of that freakishly large hat.
But rather from his deep blue eyes that seemed to look straight through the material structure separating them and right into the Rat’s soul.
Third bolt loaded.
Twitch manically cocked his crossbow with a loud mechanic sound.
Although if he had not already been insane the increasing paranoia and horrific fear he had to endure at that moment, would have made him that by now.
After almost a painful eternity he was finally ready get rid of the very most frightening experience he had to face in his whole life.
The plague rat was only one more eye twitching moment away from spinning around once more and violently unloading all of his pend up fear and a full clip of arrows on the little man, as he heard the Professor speak with a voice full of experience but also a kind of deep empathy that suddenly and strangely seemed to sooth every cell and every emotion inside of his body.
A voice that actually made Twitch think clearly for a very short moment.
“Twitch, I presume? I know you are there. But do have no fears. I merely come to visit you.”
Twitch gave a nervous snicker as he listened carefully. No one ever ventured down so far into his underground realm.
Not even for all of the crimes he had committed until now.
But now, from one to the next second his image of the world he used to live in, shattered into a thousand tiny shards.
And what remained of it was only Twitch and this tiny man.
“Twitch, why wouldn’t you come out of there and meet me? I want to ask you something.”
The Professor asked kindly.
Twitch obeyed hesitantly as he realised that the piercing eyes of the Professor emitted a paradox duality of both fear and hope. It only depended on what Twitch actually wanted to feel inside of his insane mind. And right now it wasn’t the megalomaniac lust for power, domination, infliction of pain or etc.
It was solely hope that he seemed to feel now.
Something he thought he had abandoned long ago.
As he now stood in front of the Professor face to face Twitch didn’t really know what to do next.
Simply shoot him with the crossbow that was still clenched between his hands or try to run away again?
He certainly would have done either of these two things if not for these ****ed eyes that still gazed right into his heart.
Then came the question that made Twitch even more insecure and confused than before.
“Twitch, why do you want to join the League?”
An uncomfortable silence surrounded him.
“Heeee....to become powerful! To show everyone that I am the greatest!
That there can only be me!! Heheee!!!”
Twitch bolstered out loudly after not a long time of contemplation, in a false attempt to regain his lost courage.
But as soon as the bushy eyebrows hovering above the Professor’s eyes narrowed, turning his blue look into a sharp icy penetrating gaze, the Rat knew he had just given him the wrong answer.
Again Twitch’s body started to shake and tremble in blank, undefined fear.
“No, Twitch. You know the real reason. Why do you WANT to join the League?”
The Professor’s voice repeated his question once more his voice stressing that this would be the last chance for the Twitch.
“I....” ,Twitch started to stammer.
He didn’t want to say it out loud. He didn’t even knew if the emotions he had were even true or just a byproduct of his insanity.
But there always was one thing that seemed to eat itself into his heart like a rat into a piece of rotten meat.
“I don’t want to be alone anymore!!!”
He cried out, his voice loudly echoing from every wall and pillar in this hall.
It sounded as if finally all the now uncovered pain and emotions inside of his soul finally found a vent to the outside.
Under the dense thicket of the Professor’s full beard a clear smile became visible.
“Well, how does it feel to finally expose your mind?”
Twitch kept silent in shock and confusion of what had just happened now.
For some reason he did not feel anything, neither hope nor fear, but sheer relief.
He lifted his Crossbow and finally caught the determination to let the Professor pay in blood for how he had just ruthlessly toyed with the Plague Rat.
These icy blue eyes had to vanish into warm, deep red liquid.
But as soon as he aimed at the still friendly smirking little fellow the familiar darkness he had experienced from before flood his heart once more and one twitch of his eye later he found himself back in the great room that was the League’s Hall of Judgement.
His senses needed a moment to comprehend what just had happened to him but it seemed as if he had, in fact, passed his final test.
As Twitch moved through the now wide open doors he actually didn’t feel that much different from when had entered this place.
However even if he realised it or not, between the many thoughts and malevolent emotions and ideas that constantly raced through his insane mind, there suddenly was a certain glimmer of hope which now shone more brightly than ever before.
((Hope you guys enjoyed it!))